ROME – The body of a teenage Wisconsin student who went missing shortly after he arrived for an exchange program was found in the Tiber River on Monday.
John Cabot University confirmed that the body was that of 19-year-old Beau Solomon, who was last seen by his friends in the early hours of Friday morning.
“We express our most heartfelt condolences to the Solomon family and to all those who loved Beau,” said a statement from the Rome-based English-language university.
Solomon had just completed his first year as a personal finance major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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An earlier statement from the university said it was “alerted by his roommate, who reported that he had lost contact with Beau around 1 a.m. … and was worried when he did not see Beau at orientation” Friday morning.
Solomon’s family said his credit cards had been used after he disappeared.
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Solomon’s family and John Cabot University were in contact with Italian authorities, the U.S. Embassy and his U.S. college’s President Franco Pavoncello told The Associated Press.
Without citing sources or names, the Italian news agency ANSA said two people claimed to have seen a man throw a person into the Tiber the night Solomon disappeared.
An older brother, Jake Solomon, described his brother as an athlete who successfully battled cancer for years as a child. He said his parents, Nick and Jodi Solomon, had travelled to Rome.
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While the cause of Solomon’s death is unclear, there have been several recent cases of American students in Rome running into trouble, especially during a night out drinking. Many American students are surprised to find that alcohol can be easily acquired in Italian supermarkets, bars or restaurants.
In 2012, a U.S. student was allegedly stabbed by his roommate, a fellow student at John Cabot University, after what police said was a night of alcohol and possible drug use. The stabbed student survived.
Also in recent years, a young American man recently arrived in Rome for studies and died after falling off a low wall where people sit at nighttime, landing on the cement banks of the Tiber River. Another young American male student, who had been reported missing after leaving a bar, was found dead near train tracks in a Rome tunnel, apparently hit by a train in the early morning hours.